Axe Porn

The Carpenter's Ave

The Carpenter’s Ave

Ok, hold on there.  It’s not what you think. This story is for my friends (virtual and real life) who enjoy the study of bushcraft skills.  Or anybody that likes the idea of finding something old and broken, and then refurbishing it into a workable item again.

For many years I’d been using an old Vaughan shingle hatchet for small work like splitting kindling.  But lately I’ve been having some fun carving green wood, mostly spoons and spatulas, and I needed something with a little more heft to hack out the spoon blanks.  The carpenter’s axe, as the name implies, was the perfect tool for the job.

Low and behold, craigslist provided the perfect specimen only a few miles down the road from my house.  I negotiated the asking price for the unnamed axe down to $10.00.  The handle was cracked, but that didn’t matter because I was gonna replace it with a much thicker handle anyway (that is it in the center of the picture above).

New handle shaped and fitted

New handle shaped and fitted

Boiled linseed oil

Boiled linseed oil

The new handle had a nice wide shoulder area, which made it perfect for choking up  on the handle for carving and shaping work.

Shaping a spoon blank

Shaping a spoon blank

 

 

 

 

 

Layout for an axe mask

Layout for an axe mask

Next up was to fashion an axe mask, or sheath.  With NO experience in leather working it was time to hit the UYT… University of YouTube.

The stitching pony

The stitching pony

I learned that many people used a device called a “stitching pony” to help hold the leather pieces together for stitching.  Well, I decided to make one of those.  I’m sure a lot of the decision was based on the fact that it was after all, a PONY!  Who doesn’t love a pony.  It was made from the same salvaged oak that I used for the wannigan.  The red cam locking lever is from a Yakima bicycle rack.

I ordered a little snap fastening kit, and a speedy stitcher with some waxed nylon thread, and got to work.

 

 

Speedy Stitcher

Speedy Stitcher

The axe mask

The axe mask

Well I think my first effort with leather working turned out to be more cub scout – less eagle scout, but certainly very functional and built to last a century.

That’s about it for now.  That’s for following along.  Kat

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About Jeff Katzer

Welcome friends. I'm a cyclist, hiker, motorbike rider, kayaker, photographer, videographer, ukulele player, snowshoer, XC skier, and BEST of all - a grandpa. Somewhere in that list above you'll find the theme of the Adventure Journal.
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4 Responses to Axe Porn

  1. Uncle Spike says:

    I open coal bags with ours… then use a grinder wheel to resharpen every year 🙂

  2. John Le says:

    Cool axe mask, I’m hoping to make one for my axe as well. Hopefully turns out well. How tall were your posts on the snaps? I always feel like it’s too tall to flatten out…

    • Jeff Katzer says:

      I used line 20 snaps, and the split leather was fairly thin. The post rounded off nicely with the inexpensive setting tool that came in the package. Just take your time and you’ll be fine. Good luck, and post a link to a photo when you’re finished.

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